Shrinking back to financial health or shrinking into oblivion?


ATC News published on the 17th August that the Board of Kenya Airways has reportedly approved a 40 percent cut in staffing numbers, which would reduce the airline’s workforce from presently more than 3.700 by 1.500 to about 2.200.

Flight crews would be affected well over average with about 500 layoffs, while ground operation staff reductions would be about a quarter of all those to be axed. That indicates that in all likelihood the airline will also ground some if not outright reduce their fleet, requiring less crews and ground workers.

Kenya Airways’ CEO Allan Kilavuka has already written to KALPA, the Kenya Airlines Pilots Association, saying: ‘We write to you to inform you that following a thorough review the Kenya Airways Board has approved the decision to carry out redundancy actions across the company network. This, therefore, is formal notification that we will be commencing a redundancy process across the business.The scale of this challenge requires substantial change, so that we are in a competitive and resilient position to address the impact of Covid-19 and withstand any long-term reductions in customer demand and any other economic shocks‘.

These plans will no doubt lead to further fights with the airline’s unions as the date of a government takeover of the airline moves closer to implementation.

ATC News had less than two weeks ago informed readers that at least 8 routes would not see a resumption of flights due to lack of business.

This is in stark contrast to Ethiopian Airlines which is racing towards restoring their Africa and global network after continuing to operate throughout the pandemic –with Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport never halting operations.